Friday, February 15, 2019

Do You See Them?

This week is one of my favorites of the year. Why? It's the week of our annual meeting at Kinetix. We bring all of our employees together from across the country to our corporate office in Atlanta for training, team-building, and celebration of an incredibly successful year.

One of the best parts of the week each year is the series of individual moments I have with our team. Quiet sidebar conversations about work, life, career aspirations, or challenges happening right then.

It is a privilege to have these moments actually. They are important to the team members who are kind enough to value my opinion; and they are important to me because the team trusts me enough to be involved in what's happening in their world.

That's not just "work." That's trust, and respect, and how it should be.

Seeing Them
During our company photo shoot I was chatting with one of the other executives here, and they said to me...

"...just look at our group...we have an unbelievable team of people here now...I'm not just saying it...
they truly are incredible..."

That's powerful.

...and that's one of the things I love about being a member of the leadership team here at Kinetix. 

Our employees are not FTEs, or staff, or commodities. 

They are people, who work hard, have good values, and add to our culture far beyond their performance of 18% productivity growth. 

They are people who we have the privilege to have on the team.

How About You
How do you see the members of your team? Are they replaceable, or maybe simply a seat that needs to be filled? Or, are they much more than that?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Inspire Sacrifice

What? Inspiring sacrifice? That sounds...well...miserable.

Vision First
Where am I headed with this notion of inspiring sacrifice? It starts with each of us as individuals. More specifically, it comes from those times in our lives when the world seems to be closing in around us. 

Whether it's a personal issue, a complex professional challenge, or your desire to change your life for the better, two things (at least) are in play:

1. The pressure of getting through whatever "it" is
2. Finding the strength to make the necessary changes to "get there"

For me, it starts with a vision. What do I want my professional life to look like? How do I want my life to be outside the world of work (remember, work is not your life, it's just an important part.) How do I want to feel from a health and fitness perspective. All of these pieces are linked together. We literally can not separate them into convenient little buckets.

Trust me on this one...I've tried many, many times.

Finding Strength
Moving our grand visions from concept to reality requires much more than wishing them to be true. How exactly does one move past pain, challenges, frustration, disappointment, anxiety all the while staying fired up and believing they will achieve their goals?

How do you inspire this kind of sacrifice?

Where do you draw the strength necessary, when you have run out of resources, but still need to push harder?

How do you continue to challenge yourself to excel when you are exhausted?

How do you push beyond every boundary when you are ready to collapse physically, emotionally and mentally?

When it must be do you get there?

Go Deeper
There is more to draw upon actually, but there is a powerful barrier in the way.
It is our mind. It tells us we can't continue. It tells us we will get hurt, physically, emotionally and mentally. It never stops telling us to take the easy path.

- No need to push for that organizational will be too political
- No need to do any more reps, you've worked hard enough in the gym today
- No need to have the tough conversations in your life, just shut down and it will pass

Well my friends, our minds are wrong. We can withstand so much more. Our minds are in fact constantly searching for the easiest path forward. However, t
he easiest path produces zero results, physically, mentally and emotionally.

The easiest path is paved with familiar, and sadly, comfortable excuses for you to remain mediocre.

It is only when we reject our soft self-talk that we achieve breakthroughs. It is only when we decide to push through the pain and stress and fear that we achieve greatness. It is only when we decide to be something much better than we are today, that we take our entire lives to a completely new place.

How About You
So, what is the secret source of the necessary focus to "get there?" For me it is a combination of faith, self-reflection, and a bold commitment to turn off the noise (my own, and from everyone else) to achieve things I never thought possible.

Who's with me?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Extreme User Interviews

"The way to get good ideas, is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away."
- Linus Pauling

Launching A New Idea
Over the course of my career I've come up with plenty of good ideas. At least I thought they were good ideas. A valuable lesson I learned along the way was to utilize a small group of bright people to review my ideas, offer their feedback, and then improve or reject my "good idea."

Experienced Users Know the Hacks
How does that get put into practice? It's not as difficult as you might think, but it does require a healthy dose of trust and humility. Both are challenges for me!

My process was straightforward, and based entirely on my experiences with other leaders in the organization. Those that I knew were engaged, big thinkers, knew our culture, and were well respected were put on a list.

Next step, I reached out to them individually and asked them to serve as my sounding board group. If they were uncomfortable, it was, of course, perfectly fine for them to decline.

None ever did...and I suspect the leaders you ask will also jump at the opportunity to contribute and help you.

And then...the humility piece. Once the group was assembled and I walked them through my idea, it was time for them to offer their gut reactions, their insights, their unique perspectives on what I thought I had completely worked out in advance.

On more than one occasion their feedback was humbling; but was always provided professionally. The best part was, it helped me make much better decisions than if I had relied on myself. 

How About You
Who do you rely on to help you work through new ideas or changes to your organization? Is the pressure to come up with everything on your own locked into you head? Let that go...and reach out to all of those bright minds around you.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Crush the Industry

I'm feeling particularly fired up to start the year. Now before you roll your eyes and write this off as another "New Year, New You" post, hang in there. Since when was it a bad thing to get fired up?

A state or condition permitting clear perception or understanding

I like that...particularly the "clear" part. What a gift to have a clear understanding of what we're supposed to be doing. How many times have you launched into new projects or assignments with a general sense of what needs to be done, versus a clear one?

Competitive Drive
Trying to be more successful than others

Absolutely. Do I want my organization to thrive? Of course I do...and you want yours to as well. That competitive mindset fuels our commitment to not only improve our company's performance, but our own as well.

Am I thinking about big new things in 2019? Yes!

How About You
What is pushing you this year? How are you going about crushing everything ahead of you? Is it a new job? A new side gig? Taking a risk in your current role that will change things in a big way?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Artificial Intelligence and Me

"The upheavals [of artificial intelligence] can escalate quickly and become scarier and even cataclysmic. 

Imagine how a medical robot originally programmed to rid cancer, could conclude that the best way to obliterate cancer is to exterminate humans who are genetically prone to the disease."
- Nick Bilton, tech columnist wrote in the New York Times

What Is Going On Out There
Okay...Nick's view on AI may be a bit much, but that doesn't mean that taking the deep dive into the world of artificial intelligence isn't a potentially risky endeavor.

Consider what's at stake in your world:
- your employer brand integrity
- consistent messaging and tone
- avoidance of potential discriminatory issues
- and needless mistakes being made over and over again

As you consider stepping into the world of AI in your HR organization, can you honestly say that you trust the technology solutions you are considering rolling out?

Who tested them?
What is their full / limited functionality?
Are you prepared to trust the results of the AI 'work' done in place of a human?

I'm Fired Up
As for me, I am absolutely fired up about what AI will mean for me in 2019! 

We are rolling out cutting edge tools that we have confidence will deliver for our clients.

In just the last few months major milestones have been achieved with a variety of solutions that move from basic clunky 'tech' to actual operationalized AI.

That is exciting stuff!

How About You
Is your CEO asking you about AI? What is your answer? Are you prepared to deliver in a world that is accelerating faster than ever? 

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Big 3

Today's post is short and to the point.

Transitioning to a new year means we sometimes think about making changes in our personal or professional lives.

Let's cut to the chase...

1. Pick three things to work on this year (not resolutions.)
2. Write them down with deadlines to make progress throughout the year.
3. Start today.

Stop with the self-talk noise.
Stop with the "I'm too busy excuse."

Just freaking go.

Happy New Year...and as always...

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

You Made My Day

I had something pretty cool happen recently. Someone told me that I "just made their day." Here's the coolest part... was a stranger involved public recognition
...and it leveraged his company's rewards program for the public to use

Wow! Right?

Practicing and Preaching
I've spent many years proclaiming the power of recognition. We all know it's an important tool for building relationships, trust, loyalty, and engagement. Sometimes I'm better at practicing it than preaching it, but I never lose sight of how impactful it can be.

The Story
Some of you may know that my professional life involves a heavy amount of travel; and with that, comes a familiarity with the staff of Southwest, the carrier I use. Well, one of the gate agents in Tampa is not only incredibly positive, but he is consistently positive every single day. 

Let's face it....gate agents don't get much glory. They don't sing you the safety instructions or bring you cans of water. They are stuck announcing flight delays or gate changes. 

Absolutely no glory whatsoever.

Well, Southwest has a rewards program whereby they send reward coupons to customers like me (think drink coupons, but targeted at recognizing their team members.) The coupons are personalized to me as a frequent customer, and allows me to recognize their team.

How good is that?

Which leads to his comment as I was walking by him to board the plane.

How About You
Are you doing more preaching than practicing when it comes to recognition in your organization? It's funny how it actually works out. His response made my day too.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.